Tobold's Blog
Saturday, October 18, 2008
Rohan on Retribution Paladins

I don't know very much about paladins in World of Warcraft. I only ever played one to level 32, and that was ages ago. So when I heard other players complaining about how overpowered retribution paladins are, I got confused. Aren't paladins the class that deals the least damage in this game, assuming all classes spec for maximum damage? So I asked an expert. And Rohan of Blessing of Kings kindly explained why retribution paladins aren't overpowered. Overall they still deal little damage, they just are able to use lots of abilities with long cooldown at once to deal a big burst of damage.

So if that subject interests you, I suggest you head over to Blessing of Kings and read Rohan's excellent analysis of the problem.
He can explain all he wants, but when a pvp geared moonkin dies in like 5 secs to a pala, something is not right ;).
I don't think he said anywhere that they do low damage, because their damage is great. Also they are really easy to play, have great buffs etc.

But everyone who doesn't play one will be happy when they get nerfed. No one enjoys being on the receiving end of burst damage in PvP, it's simply not a fun mechanic.
One thing wrong (imho) about paladins is their shield. That is wrong from beginning, at least pvp side speaking.

Every class has something to get some self protection. A mage can ice block, a priest can shield.

But is wrong to permit a total immunity to anything while permitting full movement, casting and bashing around.

A mage get totally immune, but is at same time totally blocked. Can't even self heal with potions.

A priest can move, cast and such... but at same time isn't immune. It's just a shield that will disappear under damage.
PvP is a mess, and really always has been. Crowd control has always been out of control, to my mind, as there is nothing more frustrating than playing a game in which you lose control of your cahracter for such a large space of time.

I have been playing Ret for several years now, and I can see why people are complaining. For one thing, people were used to out right ignoring Ret, so when the thing you never paid any attention to, or pointed and laughed at, all of the sudden comes over and knocks you into the mud, you get worked up. I was at the top damage in BGs before this thing came out, and now I am just destroying people.

Ret is pretty nasty in PvE now too though. I have seen between a 300 to 400 DPS boost, but the big thing is sustainability. I can now do that almost infinately. Before I could only keep that up but so long, even with mana pots.

I was keeping 1300+ DPS up on the target dummies in Ironforge for 5 minutes straight and my mana was still hovering around 80 to 90% full. Thats with Seal of the Martyr, wings everytime they are up, Crusader Strike, Divine Storm, Consecration, insta cast flash of light to keep the health up... Its kind of nuts now.

I don't dissagree with Rohan at all, but we sure did see a dramatic improvement and I am not surprised that folks on the recieveing end are complaining

You forget that while they have the shield up their attack speed is twice as slow (ex 3.5->7). It's also not total immunity as priests can mass dispel it (same with mages).

It also has a shared cooldown of 1 minute (forberance) with hand of protection, and also has the 5 minute cooldown itself.

If they didn't have divine shield then they would actually need to be buffed in some way to compensate, since they do balance them with divine shield in mind.
I meant to say: (same as mages ice block)
Daniel speaks truth. Those who take issue with the bubble need to play Ret and expierence the way it works, to really understand.

The same is probably true of many class abilities that seem over powered from the outside.
Another opinion,

Rohan's argument is fundamentally flawed.

Sure, if the ret paladin fails to kill something in the stun due to a bad [random(10000) / 100] the thing which was stunned can quite conceivably live assuming they aren't finished off by a Hammer of Wrath the next GCD cycle the ret pally goes through.

This doesn't change the fact that any ret paladin with Judgments of the Wise will never go out of mana assuming they can get within Judgment range every time they pass below 77% mana (on average). Thus a paladin effectively cannot be ran oom.

This also doesn't change the fact that they can instantly cast Flash of Light when one of their attacks crits (+12% chance to crit on everything except judgments, which has +37%), and that Divine Storm heals for 20% of the damage caused. Thus they cannot effectively be "worn down" by consistent damage.

Of course, that they can heal really isn't the issue, it's that they can heal well, and gain healing effectiveness from their primary DPS stats. Sheathe of Light gives them a Str:Spell Power conversion of 5:3. In addition, their crit heals gain an additional 60% of their value via a heal over time effect.

Of course the bubble, high health pools, resilience, plate armor value, stuns, and even resistance auras if they are willing to employ them situationally protects them from being bursted down by both magic and melee damage (though they have less protection against magic). Eye for an eye also plays a part, as any burst sequence failing to kill the paladin outright will return 20% of critical damage back, to a class that has a high crit and no heals this would be disastrous.

And to top it all off, many forms of CC can be dispelled (Hand of Freedom or Cleanse), or bubbled out of when necessary and abilities which cause the user to gain movement speed can be nullified with Judgment of Justice. Any class that fails to leave the paladin completely unable to act can be hit with repentance.

To recap: You can't grind a paladin down slowly, you cannot run them oom, you are highly unlikely to burst them down, the only CC that works well is stuns, and the classes with stuns often have to eat ret aura (which benefits from spell power now) and Eye procs until they keel over. This is in addition to a ret paladin's obscene burst ability.
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